Trials

  • plaintiffs lawyer 2 trial lawyer jury trial

    In-House Counsel, Litigators, Trials

    2 Outlines Of Witness Examinations: Learning From Mistakes

    It’s harder than you realize to draft witness examinations and many lawyers don’t realize the depth of their ignorance in this area, according to veteran litigator Mark Herrmann.

    32 Comments / / Jul 27, 2015 at 10:36 AM
  • Novak Druce's empty office?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.24.15

    * Most Biglaw firms are downsizing their office space, but Ropes & Gray just inked a deal to increase the size of its New York office by 40,869 square feet. It’ll occupy more than 300,000 square feet in Rockefeller Center. Hope the firm has lawyers to fill it! [Commercial Observer]

    * Yikes! Thanks to a string of lateral hires by Buchanan Ingersoll, the newly formed Philly office of Novak Druce appears to have been left without a single lawyer. The firm decided to “refrain from commenting” on the departures. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * The same jury that found James Holmes guilty of several counts of murder in the Dark Knight movie theater massacre completed the first phase of sentencing and decided that aggravating factors existed for him to incur the death penalty. [Los Angeles Times]

    * A former court clerk in Indiana is suing because she claims she was fired for refusing to process same-sex marriage licenses, even though doing so went against her “sincerely held” religious beliefs. We may be seeing a lot more of these in the future. [Indy Star]

    * Per Texas prosecutor Warren Diepraam, medical examiners have ruled that Sandra Bland’s death was a suicide by hanging, and he has “full faith” in the autopsy results. The community remains outraged, and investigation into the case is ongoing. [NBC News]

    10 Comments / / Jul 24, 2015 at 8:56 AM
  • Willie Nelson (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.22.15

    * “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys potheads.” Country singer-songwriter and OG stoner Willie Nelson says marijuana will be legal in all 50 states within the next decade. Who knows, maybe his cannabis-crazed dreams will come true. [San Antonio Express-News]

    * Where do lonely hearts go? To court. This ex-Illinois Law student was accused of stalking a classmate and barred setting foot on campus for a two-year time period. A new trial was ordered, and now he may be able to graduate. Yay? [National Law Journal]

    * Law firms of all sizes are merging at a record pace, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to continue like this ad infinitum. Eventually, all of the fun is going to stop, and it’ll likely because there isn’t any more profitability to be had for these firms. Womp. [Am Law Daily]

    * Corporate legal departments are pushing for more diversity among their ranks, with companies like Xerox leading the way. NAPABA is hopeful that we’ll see 20 Asian-American lawyers as general counsel of Fortune 500 companies by 2020. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * For a man who wanted to “get rich or die tryin,” things don’t seem to be working out so well: Bankrupt rapper 50 Cent was busy denying ownership of many of his luxury items in court this week. He says he rents, borrows, and leases most of his bling. [Associated Press]

    14 Comments / / Jul 22, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • John G. Balestriere

    Boutique Law Firms, Litigators, Small Law Firms, Trials

    Always Try Your Case — So Get The Trial Experience Any Way You Can

    One of the most basic practices of the best litigators is getting ready for trial immediately, no matter how far away or unlikely trial may seem — but that also means knowing what a trial involves.

    / Jul 17, 2015 at 2:29 PM
  • 50 Pence None The Richer (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.17.15

    * “I don’t know what you heard about me, but a bitch can’t get a dollar out of me.” Truer lyrics have never been rapped. 50 Cent’s legal team will face off in bankruptcy court against lawyers for a woman owed $5 million thanks to a sex-tape scandal. [Business Insider]

    * You may be happy that income-based loan repayment exists and is saving you from defaulting on your law school debts, but in a few decades, you’re probably going to get F’d in the A by a ticking tax time bomb. [Student Loan Ranger / U.S. News]

    * If you missed it, James Eagan Holmes, the shooter in the Dark Knight movie theater massacre in Colorado, was convicted for killing 12 people and wounding 70 others. Next up is the sentencing phase of his trial, and the death penalty is on the table. [Denver Post]

    * The head honchos at Goldman Sachs are sad their second-quarter profits were reduced by ~half thanks to protracted litigation stemming from the financial crisis. The bank had to put away $1.45B for “mortgage-related litigation.” [DealBook / New York Times]

    * The stars at night may be big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, but Berg & Androphy, led by attorney David Berg, is trying its hand at big city life in New York. It got the hang of things, y’all: B&A has already poached two Kasowitz partners. [Lawdragon]

    14 Comments / / Jul 17, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • '[W]hen you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.'

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.15.15

    * After closing arguments in the Dark Knight movie massacre trial, the case against accused shooter James Holmes now goes to a jury. He’s facing 165 criminal charges, and if found guilty, he may be sentenced to death. [NBC News]

    * A federal magistrate judge ordered the NCAA to pay almost $46 million in legal fees and costs to lawyers representing student-athletes in their antitrust suit against the organization, and he even likened the case to Game of Thrones in his decision. This is a monumental win. [Reuters]

    * Last night, SCOTUS denied a stay of execution for Mississippi death row inmate David Zink, even though his lawyers cited Justice Breyer’s recent death penalty dissent in Glossip with high hopes that the Court would act in their client’s favor. [National Law Journal]

    * For your information, the gender gap in the legal profession extends far beyond pay and partnership prospects. According to a recent study by the American Bar Association, about two-thirds of all attorneys who appeared in federal civil trials were men [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Going to law school in an underserved community that isn’t overflowing with lawyers is great for résumés, because the University of New Mexico School of Law is seriously bucking the trend of its students having difficulty finding jobs after graduation. [KOB 4]

    6 Comments / / Jul 15, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Game of Loans

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.14.15

    * With sagging enrollment and disappointing job statistics, offering students some tuition reimbursement if they’re still unemployed nine months after graduation is a great way to put asses in seats. We’ll have more to say about this news later today. [New York Times]

    * Testimony in the Dewey & LeBoeuf criminal trial got a little more interesting when jurors learned that the plan to cook the firm’s books to the tune of more than $50 million was hatched after a pricey steak dinner at Del Frisco’s. Don’t all evil Biglaw plans come together after an expensive steak dinner? [DealBook / New York Times]

    * These people just won the criminal justice reform lottery: In case you missed it, President Barack Obama commuted the sentenced of 46 nonviolent drug offenders in order to shine a light on punishments that didn’t fit the crimes committed. [POLITICO]

    * Pay close attention to this information, gunners, because it probably applies to you. Per a new study conducted by two Colorado Law professors, LSAT scores are an “overvalued predictor” of future law school grades and résumé builders don’t matter. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Osvaldo Miranda Diaz, the lawyer who called Cuba’s criminal justice system “disgusting” during a presentation he gave to visiting U.S. lawyers, secured a full ride for Duke Law’s LLM program thanks to one of his audience members. Congrats! [Daily Business Review]

    13 Comments / / Jul 14, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • Themis statue and handcuffs

    Crime, Jury Duty

    Criminally Yours: Waving The Freedom Flag

    It’s getting tougher to find jurors who understand and embrace the very rights the Constitution put in place to protect us all when it comes to criminal defendants.

    4 Comments / / Jul 6, 2015 at 1:14 PM
  • Gawker logo

    In-House Counsel, Media and Journalism, Privacy, Trials

    The Most Interesting In-House Job In The World?

    Meet Heather Dietrick, president and general counsel of Gawker Media, who’s now spearheading Gawker’s defense in the Hulk Hogan sex video lawsuit.

    15 Comments / / Jul 1, 2015 at 5:40 PM
  • Ben and Jen in less litigious times. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for VH1)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.01.15

    * Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are getting divorced — even she couldn’t stand the thought of him being Batman. Celebrity divorces don’t come cheap, and you know what that must mean: high-powered lawyers and even higher rates for their billable hours! [CNN]

    * “[H]ow young would you go…I’d do 5[,] [b]ut 0-12 is hot.” Well, that’s absolutely disgusting. Matthew Gigot, an attorney who does doc review in the D.C. area, was charged in a child pornography case for sexual performance using a minor. [FOX 5 DC]

    * The main line of defense as of late in the Dewey trial for the former head honchos of this failed firm is that everyone sends out embarrassing — and potentially incriminating — emails from time to time. We know all abput that here at Above the Law. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * “Put down the bong, throw out the vaporizer and lose the rolling papers.” If you’re hoping to land a job at any federal agency any time in the near future, then you better quit your toking as soon as possible, even if it’s legal in your state. [New York Times]

    * Here’s some sad news for women who are interested in taking home their apparently delicious and nutritious placentas to feast upon after their children are born in hospitals: it’s only completely legal in three states — Hawaii, Oregon, and Texas. [The Stir]

    27 Comments / / Jul 1, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Hillary Clinton

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.23.15

    * Hillary Clinton is making a mad dash for Biglaw bucks to support her presidential run. This week, she’ll be at an event hosted by Sullivan & Cromwell, and next week, she’ll be at an event hosted by a Chadbourne & Park partner. Ooh la la, fancy schmancy! [Bloomberg Politics]

    * Dewey know why this firm failed? Back before D&L declared bankruptcy, the firm’s most successful rainmakers were asked to give up half of their gigantic salaries in an attempt to stave off the worst… but they didn’t want to. We suppose that’s the way the cartel crumbles. [Am Law Daily]

    * Bickel & Brewer, the fearsome Texas litigation boutique, recently broke up, and now it’ll simply be known as Brewer. John Bickel, who invoked the firm’s partnership retirement clause, is now ensconced as senior counsel at Fish & Richardson. [Texas Lawbook]

    * This career services dean is here to tell you a tale about law school job stats. You see, law schools don’t have an unemployment problem — instead, they have a “J.D. Advantage” problem (aka, jobs they took because they couldn’t get lawyer jobs). [Huffington Post]

    * This is yet another reason why people are considering Fordham’s Fashion Law LL.M.: “Every designer should have a minimum degree of legal literacy, if only to know when to seek a legal opinion — and to avoid being sent to sit at the kids’ table.” [New York Times]

    20 Comments / / Jun 23, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • shocked woman lawyer laptop

    Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Partner Issues

    Don’t You DARE Send This Rainmaker Insulting Emails, You Sniveling Idiot

    Which partner fired off such a harsh email?

    13 Comments / / Jun 19, 2015 at 1:16 PM
  • See ya, Judge.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.19.15

    * Ouch! The Florida Supreme Court just unanimously told a lower court judge to STFU and GTFO. Judge Laura Watson, who was elected to her position in 2012, was summarily ousted from the bench for shady conduct that took place before her judgeship commenced. [Sun Sentinel]

    * The ABA postponed making a decision on whether it’ll approve a merger between Hamline Law and William Mitchell Law. Not to worry, everything will be okay. Come on, as if the ABA would let a failing law school completely crash and burn. [MPR News]

    * We mentioned this week that Hank Greenberg won his A.I.G. bailout suit, but we didn’t get around to the part where Davis Polk got quite the judicial spanking from an “irritated” judge — and the firm wasn’t even named as a defendant. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Uh oh. It looks like Ellen Pao just got “powed.” Judge Harold Kahn has tentatively ruled that Pao must pay about $276,000 in trials costs to Kleiner Perkins. (Special thanks go out to ATL commenter Paul Harvey for this clever little quip.) [Digits / Wall Street Journal]

    * Micah Green, a prominent lobbyist at Squire Patton Boggs, is headed for greener pastures at Steptoe. He’s the latest rainmaker to leave, which makes us wonder if the firm will be satisfied with only being able to make it drizzle. [PowerPost / Washington Post]

    19 Comments / / Jun 19, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • Themis statue and handcuffs

    Bail, Crime, Prisons

    Criminally Yours: Frayed Justice

    Housing the poor before they’re found guilty just because they can’t afford bail is just not right.

    8 Comments / / Jun 15, 2015 at 1:16 PM
  • 'And then I said I didn't know they were prostitutes.'

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.12.15

    * If you’re having girl problems, he feels bad for you son, he’s got 99 problems, but an aggravated pimping charge ain’t one. Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was acquitted on his latest sex scandal charges by a French court. [Bloomberg Business]

    * “Justice may be blind, but she still sees it our way 88.4% of the time.” Humblebrag? Quinn Emanuel may kick ass at winning trials, but its percentage of “wins” advertised on airport signage has gone down by 3.9% since 2008. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Which Biglaw firms had the greatest percent changes in headcount in the first half of 2015? With a 29.2 percent drop, McKenna Long & Aldridge is leaking lawyers like a sieve. Irella is in second place, with attorney headcount down by 22.8 percent. [Am Law Daily]

    * Say hello to the National Cannabis Bar Association, an organization that’ll help you get some higher education as you navigate through the haze of marijuana laws. If you want to learn more, then come to our marijuana law event next week in Denver. [ABA Journal]

    * If you’d like to strengthen your law school application, then you may want to consider getting to know some current professors and alumni from the school of your choice. That way, you can suck up while you’re sucking up. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    15 Comments / / Jun 12, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • suit behind bars

    Benchslaps, Crime

    Lawyer Arrested… Mid Trial

    Practice pointer: do not appear as a client’s defense attorney at trial when there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest.

    22 Comments / / May 29, 2015 at 2:37 PM
  • Marilyn J. Mosby (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.28.15

    * As it turns out, Marilyn Mosby, State’s Attorney for Baltimore, has been a legal all-star for much of her adult life. Not only did she file charges against police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, but she won a case in front of Judge Judy. Watch the video below. [New York Daily News]

    * “No one needs more than 18 years in the high stakes and extremely powerful position of Supreme Court justice.” If you’re against lifetime terms for SCOTUS justices, you’re going to love Fix the Court’s new initiative for voluntary term limits. Who’d actually follow through with this? [Legal Times]

    * The DOJ brought a landmark case against FIFA officials, but there’s likely going to be a problem getting those who were charged extradited from Switzerland. Legal experts say it’ll be at least six months until we can get them in the U.S. penalty box. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Sure, Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former chief financial officer may have referred to the firm’s “fake income” and hoped for a “clueless auditor,” but come on, that doesn’t mean that he was involved in anything fraudulent. He’s just a really “blunt” kind of guy. [Am Law Daily]

    * UC law students are thanking Gov. Jerry Brown they’re exempt from supplemental tuition increases — “[they] are paying a ton already for [their] degrees.” Good thing legal education is in the toilet, otherwise they’d be paying the fee hikes. [Los Angeles Times]

    * Comedian Tracy Morgan has settled his personal injury lawsuit against Wal-Mart over the tractor-trailer truck crash he was involved in last summer. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, but we imagine someone will leak them online soon. [Reuters]

    https://youtu.be/f6aN3_hKdwk

    28 Comments / / May 28, 2015 at 8:40 AM
  • Dewey LeBoeuf new sign New York

    Dewey & LeBoeuf, Trials

    The Blame Game Begins: Opening Statements In The Dewey & LeBoeuf Trial

    Not surprisingly, the attorneys for the prosecution and the defense painted two drastically different pictures of the firm’s demise.

    12 Comments / / May 27, 2015 at 9:57 AM